Heavy damage is reported around Dayton, Ohio, after a series of tornados blew through the region on Monday evening. The Associated Press is reporting that the storms were among 53 twisters that forecasters said may have touched down Monday across eight states stretching eastward from Idaho and Colorado.
In Brookville, Ohio, west of Dayton, the storm peeled roofs off schools, destroyed a barn and heavily damaged houses, according to AP reports.
Members of Charis Fellowship congregations in the area seemed to have fared well, according to preliminary reports.
“Brookville was hit pretty hard by a tornado,” said Rick Harley, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church in Brookville. “Many houses and businesses destroyed. A quarter of the roof was ripped off our high school. No deaths as far as we know – just minor injuries. Power is out at our church building and in the neighborhoods damaged.”
Zack Doppelt, pastor of Basore Road Grace Brethren Church on the north side of Dayton, spent the morning checking with as many members of the congregation as possible.
“Heavy damage took place less than a mile or so from the church (no damage at the church facility though),” he said. “Trotwood (the suburb where Basore Road sits on the north end of) was hit heavily.” he added.
“Thus far our folks are fine,” Doppelt concluded, “and I have only heard that a few are without power and water, so praise the Lord! There are a few I still haven’t gotten a hold of, though. We are focusing on our folks first, and then we will address what can be done for the community after that.”
As of early this afternoon, Barb Wooler, director of Crisis Response for Encompass World Partners, had also been in touch with area churches and had mobilized at least one team from a Charis Fellowship church in a nearby city to help with clean-up as early as tomorrow. If you are interested in assisting with cleanup, contact Barb at firstname.lastname@example.org.